Epic Nation

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Here buildings fell. Here a nation rose.

In the winter of 2000 my stepdad took me and a good friend of mine into New York City to tour the World Trade Center. I remember standing in that huge express elevator, speeding up the WTC so fast I could feel the preasure change in my ears. The moment we stepped out onto the top floor I was stunned by the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The structure itself was a testament to man's ingenuity and greatness. Looking uptown I could see what looked to be a miniature Empire State Building in the center of a vast metropolis that now seemed so tiny. From atop the tower one couldnt help but feel detached from the great city that rested beneath its stretches of glass and steal. It was quiet, lonely... peaceful.

On the morning of 9/11 I was over 5000 miles away from New York city. A friend of mine and I had just moved to Hawaii from New Jersey that August to start college. It was about 3:30 AM when my roommate's phone rang.

I was half-asleep, groggy, and somewhat pissed off that someone would be calling him at such an hour. But the moment I heard his voice, responding to what must have been terrifying news coming through the other end of the line, I knew something horrible had happened.

When my roommate relayed the news to me I just couldnt - WOULDNT - believe it. I know we turned the TV on, but I dont remember much of what we saw because it was as though we were looking through the screen. It could have been fear, or even anger, but we were frozen.

"What the f#$% happened?!" seemed to be all either of us could make of the situation. Did a pilot make some horrible error and crash into the WTC? Can they put out the fire, will the building collapse, could this have been a terrorist attack...? As we became more cognoscente of what we were witnessing on our television we began to come out of our initial shock. Then it happened...

It began with what looked like taped footage of the plane hitting the tower. But there was massive confusion among the news anchors and reporters at the scene. Had a second plane just hit the OTHER tower? Once it became clear that was exactly what had just happened we both reverted back to our original state of mind: "WHAT THE F#$% HAPPENED?!"

It was now clear that our country was under attack.

News also came of an attack on the Pentagon, and a plane down in PA. There were rumors of attacks on the Sears Tower, State Department, and CIA headquarters. Before the dust had settled in lower Manhatten it was clear that someone had just perpetrated the largest attack on American soil in our country's history.

As fire fighters dug through rubble looking for survivors and jets circled our nations cities, our mood was already shifting. We were no longer scared, no longer confused, we were pissed and wanted justice. We wanted blood.

In the days following September 11 I could not help but think to myself "thank God our president is George Bush, and not AlGore". When the president went down to see the rescue workers I was impressed that he would venture into such an obviously dangerous area. To be honest, up until 9/11 he was still that likeable guy I voted for who was clumsy with his words and seemed a little overwhelmed by the presidency.

But the moment George W. Bush stood atop the rubble at ground zero and promised that those who attacked us would "hear from all of us soon" he became Commander-in-Chief. George Bush had found his voice. Destiny chose this man, at that place, in those hours, to lead our nation out of the ashes.


Here buildings fell. Here a nation rose.
-George W. Bush

1 Comments:

  • I'll never forget that phone call Kevin. I get chills thinking about that night. You are absolutely right, thank god Bush was in office. Because if it were not for President Bush, I would have been fearing this anniversary of 9-11. To be perfectly honest, I was suprised to see that today was the day. I think that shows what an amazing job Bush has done in protecting us. Maybe if Russia followed his example, 150 children would still be alive today. It's a shame that some nations are insisting on remaining on the sidelines of the fight against terrorism until its their turn to be victimized.

    One other quick point. If you havent seen ground zero yet, go see it. My two friends who HATED Bush visited me this summer. Showing them a hole in the middle of Manhattan as deep as a football field and as wide as 4 football fields changed their view instantly. SO CHANGE YOURS TOO HIPPIES!

    By Blogger Jeremy van Eyk, at 8:49 PM  

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